Texas Legislature

Texas Public Radio/Ryan E. Poppe

The state's 85th Legislative Session kicked off Tuesday, Jan. 10, and Texans are buzzing about the hundreds of pieces of legislation to be considered by the House and Senate over the next 140 days.

From Texas Standard:

Today marks the start of the 85th Texas legislative session. Lawmakers will have 140 days to pass bills and set the budget for the next two years. But the projected amount they’ll have to work with is 2.7 percent less than what they've been expecting.

Hegar gives lawmakers dour revenue estimate for 2017 session

Jan 9, 2017
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

 

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Facing sluggish economic forecasts amid low oil prices along with billions in tax revenue already dedicated to the state highway fund, Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Monday that lawmakers will have $104.87 billion in state funds at their disposal in crafting the next two-year budget, a 2.7 percent decrease from his estimate ahead of the legislative session two years ago.

Ryan Poppe

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus says the State of Texas should not have to spend as much on border security in the next budget because incoming President Donald Trump says that’s his top priority. The Speaker would like to see Washington pick up a bigger part of the bill. 

In 2015, state lawmakers approved more than $750 million to fund the Texas Department of Public Safety’s border security operation in the Rio Grande Valley.  Public Safety is now asking for more than a billion state dollars to expand the state’s border efforts. 

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

New legislation filed at the state capitol aims to provide stiffer punishment for those caught targeting police and first responders.  

Following the shooting of San Antonio Police Det. Benjamin Marconi, the city’s police Chief William McManus said that it was obvious, the uniform, not the officer was the target.

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